Dataminers have found code for what looks like a feature cut from Pokémon Sun and Moon, the latest entries in the franchise. Walking and running animations for every Pokémon are hidden within the games, with fully rendered models in-action hitting social media.
YouTuber SleepingJirachi made the compilation above of various models unearthed from the games’ files, showing Pokémon of all generations moving at various speeds. The datamined files are pulled from those posted on Google Plus and later shared to Reddit, Twitter and 4chan; players have made them available to download.
These are different than the Pokémon animations we’ve seen in the retail builds of Sun and Moon. That the models cycle between walking and running have many fans thinking that they were made for a beloved, rarely seen feature: Pokémon following their trainers along on the overworld map.
That was most recently included in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Nintendo DS remakes of the Game Boy Color’s Silver and Gold. Walking Pokémon were mostly a cosmetic function in those games, but it was beloved by players who just wanted to feel close to their favorite Pokémon.
We haven’t been able to walk side-by-side with our Pokémon since then. That we came this close to having that beloved feature back for Sun and Moon is disappointing to many fans, but they’re holding out hope that these models will be used for something else: Pokémon Stars, the reported third version of the games. Unnamed sources told Eurogamer last month that the title would launch on Nintendo Switch later next year, and it would be no surprise to see new and improved features — like Pokémon strolls — appear in the updated release.